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before january. [no audio] >> today president obama vowed he would sign a bill before january to extend tax cuts for most americans. his remarks came as congress leaves washington without a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. the president said he hoped any deal to avoid the fiscal cliff would also include and extension of unemployment insurance and lay this is about 7 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. for the last few weeks, i have been working with the leaders of both parties on a proposal to get our deficit under control, to avoid tax cuts -- to avoid tax hikes on the middle-class. and to make sure we can spur jobs and economic growth. a balanced proposal that cuts spending, but also ask the wealthiest americans to pay more, a proposal that will strengthen the middle class over the long haul, and our economy over the long haul. in the course of these negotiations, i offered to compromise with republicans in congress. i met them halfway on taxes and more than halfway on spending. today, i am still willing to get a comprehensive package done. i still believe that reducing o
a hand. [applause] since he came to washington with president obama in 2009, he has been a forward thinking and caring supporter of the district. to the teachers and principals of this city in this country. he has helped secure millions of dollars in funding. they helped shape innovative policies, all across the country. he is a true leader, not just in time for celebration, but in times of tragedy and sorrow. yesterday, he attended the funeral of the principle of sandy hook elementary school that lost her life protecting the children of the school. ladies and gentlemen, i am proud, thankful, and privileged to introduce arne duncan. [applause] >> i want to thank the children for their fantastic support. please give a round of applause for the work she is doing. [applause] i think she is an amazing leader, and d.c. has come a long way and has a long way to go. with her passion in her heart, she is leading the charge. this is a bittersweet day. i think it is so important on days like this and every day, that we listen to our children. savor their innocence and applaud their unquencha
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